Tuesday, November 14, 2006

diversifying Focus Media's profitable terminals

Focus Media, a legend in China's media industry last industry, is famous for its idea to put terminals in the offices and residential building. The concept is simple: the middle-class people usually working or living in those buildings will look at those advertisements showing on the terminal flat screens when they are boringly waiting for the lift and taking the lift.

Here, I, as a common client but not as a professional financial journalist, think something may go wrong on this idea. The building I am living in BJ right now, (I am on a trip to BJ from HK if everyone remember), has two TV terminals on the first floor. It may be for people waiting for the life coming. Unfortunately, I have been living here for almost four weeks, but couldn't remember a single advertisement from those terminals.

First, because I never need to wait for a lift to come. The lift is always available, so I only need a maximum five seconds to get to the lift, while never put my eyes on the screen beside.

Second, and more importantly, is I am never interested in pure advertising content. In fact, I will call the sales way of focus media more like a forced advertising way, while people have to, not actively seek to, watch the advertisements. Imagine if you will watch a pure advertising TV channel. No, I will not, as I will be bored.

Focus Media is still making good money, as advertisers already believed in this story created by both company and the venture capitalists which once invested in this company. It also expands quickly with more terminals covering more buildings. But I would like to remind all of the people to check the effective number of clients the terminals attracted, instead of a null quick expanding number. One terminal doesn't certainly mean people paying attention to those advertisements.

When I was in SH, I found many taxies already had a small screen in their cars. I found the ones carried more interesting contents, say Music Videos from Channel V, are more attracted to me and I watched them closely even when advertisements come. it means audiences need interesting contents, instead of pure, or boring even worse, advertisements. So I doubt Focus Media's profitability in the future.

Just personal opinions, not on behalf of any others people or any media.

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